VIENNA WINTER GUIDE
LOCATION: VEINNA, AUSTRIA • FEBRUARY 02, 2017

Outfit Details:

Coat (sold out in camel but still in the sale in these colours), Roll Neck Jumper, Jeans, Shoes, Bag (similar)

I hadn’t planned on doing another blog post on Vienna but my recent trip to Paris really inspired me to put this one up. I absolutely adored Vienna, dare I say it, even more than Paris. I hadn’t expected to fall in love with it as much as I did and although I had only ever heard good things I don’t think Vienna gets the attention it deserves. Perhaps it’s because I was lucky enough to visit in the holiday season which was pure magic!

Five days in the City went by far too quickly and the freezing cold weather meant that it was just too cold to enjoy some of the outside attractions. But we crammed in as much as possible and I thought I would share some of the things we enjoyed the most and things that I am dying to go back and visit.

On this day, I was the first in line for the elevator to the rooftop of St Stephen’s Cathedral, I can see why this it’s Austria’s most prominent national symbol, the intricate roof in brightly coloured tiles is a real show stopper and the south tower’s viewing point provides amazing views across the whole of the city. If like me you love to see a city from above, Cafe Bar Bloom have a wonderful roof terrace to enjoy some food or drinks. I believe the roof terrace is only open specific hours so it’s worth checking the timings before you visit. The Ritz-Carlton also have a wonderful rooftop bar.

Belvedere Palace is another of the top things to do when visiting Vienna. Inside is a art museum rather than a palace itself but it still holds the beautiful features of ornate chandeliers and decadent wall paper, providing a very luxurious setting for a museum.

When I get the chance to return to Vienna at the very top of my to do list will be returning to Schonbrunn Palace. The only reason we didn’t visit on this trip was simply because of the weather (don’t be fooled by the pictures, its cold in December!) and the main attraction seems to be the outside grounds of the palace, something I feel will be much better in the spring or summer.

One thing I regret not doing was experiencing the music! With the best intentions to book a fancy dinner and then watch an opera or a ballet at the Wiener Staatsoper, unfortunately I greatly underestimated how far in advance you need to book around Christmas. Great excuse to return again though.

Food was a crucial part of this trip for us. Viennese cuisine is best known for its pastries and traditional dishes like schnitzel and the most amazing dumplings.

Demel – A must if you are visiting Vienna. By far the best pastries I have tried. I talk more about Demel in this post. I would recommend booking a seat at the bar downstairs for the full experience.

Das Loft – Set on the 18th floor of the Sofitel hotel, this restaurant has panoramic views of Vienna with spectacular food to match.

Nashca’s – I stumbled across this Cafe while wandering the town to escape the cold and grab a hot chocolate.

Café Central – Traditional Viennese Café which was once the meeting point for Arthur Schnitzler, Sigmund Freud, Peter Altenberg, and Leo Trotzki. Although I wouldn’t return I would definitely recommend at least one visit.

Café Diglas – There are two Café Diglas’s, I visited the one on Wollzeile, the best place to rub shoulders with locals and some of the best schnitzel from the whole trip.

The Christmas markets are the most popular thing to do if your visiting in the holiday season and there are an abundance of them. Wooden stalls filled with hand made crafts, mulled wine, gingerbread and traditional foods. There is more than enough to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. A few of my favorites were:

Weihnachtsdorf at Schloss Belvedere – The view over the lake toward the market and Belvedere is beautiful. The market itself is relatively small but ties in well with visiting the palace.

Altwiener Christkindlmarkt on the Freyung – One of the oldest Christmas markets and conveniently placed near to some of the more exclusive shops.

Wiener Christkindlmarkt at the Rathaus – By far the most touristy market but also the most popular. The backdrop of the Rathaus lit up at night is stunning.

Christmas and New Year’s Market at Schloß Schönbrunn – My personal favorite, this market also has a beautiful backdrop. A little harder to get to as it’s outside of the city, but well worth the visit as this was where we found the best stalls for buying little gifts. Food wise there was an excellent selection and the only place we found yummy traditional dumplings, however, do not underestimate the orange punch!

Weihnachtsmarkt am Stephansplatz – Being one of the smallest markets we visited it’s perfect for while you are exploring the city centre and St Stephen’s.

Wiener Eistraum – Get your skates on and ice Skate in front of the Rathaus. This has to be the best and most complex ice rinks I have ever seen, with different trails and a few different rinks winding around the Rathaus. I have to admit I actually chickened out of skating during the evenings when the rink was at its best all lit up with twinkling lights as it was full of talented skaters. It was equally nice to be there in the morning when there weren’t so many people.

If your planning a trip to Vienna I hope this gives you some ideas on where to go, what to see and most importantly, what to eat. If you’ve been before and have any other recommendations please do let me know in the comments, I would love to hear about them.